Do these phone features coexist?
August 21, 2005 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Wanted: a relatively simple wired-to-the-wall phone with headset jack, message-waiting blinking light (phone company voicemail), speaker phone, and maybe a few speed-dial buttons (caller ID optional but preferred). Only need one line, no answering machine, no wireless. Does this phone exist?

I've checked consumer reports, a few Google searches, and looking around (briefly) the Panasonic and AT&T web sites - there may be phones out there that have all these features, but heck if I can find them.

I'm willing to put up with one or two extra features - I mainly am interested in adding a headset to my existing phone, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do it if the phone doesn't have a special jack.

Side question - why isn't there a headset you can just plug into the handset jack? Is there?

Headset jacks on wired-to-the-wall (not wireless) seem to be somewhat rare, but the real rarity seems to be that message blinking light. My current phone (AT&T model 962 - no headset jack) has one, though it sometimes blinks when there's no message, which is annoying. Also, to be clear, I want this to work with the phone company's voice mail service, and don't want a built-in answering machine. I have seen separate devices that will blink when there's a message waiting, but would prefer something built into the phone, since extra devices mean more points of failure and more chances for static to creep in.

Extra features, like 2 phone lines, might be OK, but I really only need the one line and would prefer to keep things simple.

My budget is about $100, but I'm flexible. Less would be nice, but I care about getting a quality phone that sounds good.
posted by amtho to Technology (6 answers total)
Haven't searched myself, but try here.
posted by JanetLand at 11:58 AM on August 21, 2005

You're asking for a very specific item, and I very much doubt you'll have what you're asking for unless you hack something together yourself, at least for the headset jack.
posted by angry modem at 12:33 PM on August 21, 2005

Best answer: I have the AT&T 972-- it has the plug for a headset jack, caller ID and the message light works with voicemail (steady red, not blinking); though it and the caller ID also indicate when someone has called and not left a message.
posted by brujita at 12:39 PM on August 21, 2005

My parents have 2 phones like this, both a few years old - blinking red light for voicemail, caller ID, tethered to a wall, headset jack. This is the current incarnation of it. The 2 my parents have are branded by Nortel and I think they were bought from the local telco.
posted by milkrate at 1:32 PM on August 21, 2005

Radio Shack sells a phone (model ET-3558) like this except for these differences:
No speakerphone
It's cordless (that's bad?)

The headset jack is on the handset; the message indicator is on the base (and yes, it works with phone company voicemail.) It has caller ID and speed dial.

For $100, you can buy five of them now. Last month, you could only get four.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:45 AM on August 22, 2005

Response by poster: We ordered the AT&T phone yesterday - this was very helpful! It looks like the 982 also has all these features.

Looked at the Nortel phone, but it was more expensive, looked bigger, and seemed fancier (hence maybe more prone to weird problems) than what I need.

posted by amtho at 5:41 AM on August 22, 2005

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